This was posted by Stuart Jones on 29 Jan 2008. This article says it all. The Republican party can unite behind Romney, they will not unite behind McCain
Last month, when asked if he had a preference in the primary season, a liberal Democrat friend of mine said that he did not. To him, all of the Democratic hopefuls were about the same and he could support any of them. Then asked if there was any Republican he could support, he quickly replied “well, John McCain of course.”
Conservatives have long alleged that John McCain is in the wrong party. He has led the fight for amnesty for illegal aliens and has recently joined Al Gore’s fight against global warming. McCain’s biggest supporter is the 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Joe Lieberman. On Thursday, McCain was endorsed by The New York Times and on Friday there was this from Bill Clinton: “She and John McCain are very close,” Bill Clinton said about his wife. “They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history and they’re afraid they’d put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other.”
In a year when the Democratic race seems to be more about style than policy differences some liberal Democrats and Independents saw a chance to hedge their bets and vote for McCain in open primaries as the Republican nominee. John McCain lost the New Hampshire primary among Republicans but finished first when the votes of Democrats and independents were added. He came in first in New Hampshire with 37% of the total vote and came in first in South Carolina with 33% of the vote, just 3% ahead of the second place finisher. To put it another way, 63% of voters voted against McCain in New Hampshire and two-thirds opposed him in South Carolina.
Yet McCain’s thin plurality in S.C. was enough for his fans in the news media to insist that he be nominated. Liberal newspapers, who typically demonize Republicans, gushed with phony concern for Republican chances in November and declared that only McCain was electable. Since when did The New York Times ever want a Republican to win an election?
In turn, most every conservative in the media, from Rush Limbaugh to Michelle Malkin to Mark Levin blasted McCain’s candidacy. Online editorials went further. Simmons of The Political Grind said “Why McCain Will Never Win”, while Billy Hollis of QandO said what a lot of Republicans have been thinking. In an “Open Letter to the Grand Old Party” he stated simply that if McCain is the nominee he, and millions of other conservatives, won’t vote for him. A McCain nomination would split the Republican party and prompt another third party candidacy, perhaps from Ron Paul or Lou Dobbs. McCain’s policies are hated by a large segment of the Republican party and no amount of appeals to party unity will change their minds. It seems likely that a majority of Republicans will oppose McCain through the convention yet he could still get the nomination.
McCain’s chance at the nomination comes from an unlikely source. In the Summer of 2007, Rudy Giuliani was the Republican frontrunner, with 30% leads in polls in New York and New Jersey. In contrast McCain’s candidacy was falling apart, due to his support of the wildly unpopular Senate amnesty bill. Giuliani allies seeking to stack the deck in his favor pushed for New York and New Jersey to be winner-take-all states. It never seemed to occur to Giuliani’s allies that he wouldn’t be the frontrunner seven months later and that instead of boosting his candidacy they could doom it. What his allies lack in fair-mindedness they make up for in unimaginativeness. The definition of “winner” in “winner take all” is dubious. Logically it would seem that a candidate would have to get a majority of the vote to win; in some states, like Alabama, that is indeed the case. After all in a democracy majority rules. But in most WTA states, like New York, New Jersey and Florida one can be a winner with a mere plurality of the vote, with no minimum on that amount. In a crowded field a candidate could get only 25% of the vote and be awarded 100% of the delegates. 75% of the voters in a state could vote against a candidate yet, if the opposition is divided among several other candidates, 25% support could translate into 100% of the delegates. Winner-take-all contests are often designed to help a favorite son, as in New York this year, but more often the policy has little to do with nominating the best candidate and everything to do with advancing the interests of state party officials. By awarding all of their delegates to one candidate, party hacks seek to exaggerate the importance of their state in the nomination process. They also hope that, if the winner of their state contest goes on to be president, he will be beholden to that state’s officials. Such self-serving maneuvering reinforces the public’s cynicism about politics and distorts the will of the voters. To their credit, the Democratic party outlawed WTA primaries years ago.
If McCain can win in New York and New Jersey, where he currently leads in the polls, he could lead in the delegate count after Super Tuesday. His nomination could then become a real and disturbing possibility, but there is still time for McCain to be stopped.
The Republican process is rapidly becoming a two man race. McCain leads in national polls, but these surveys measure little more than name recognition and swing wildly from week to week. In every other measure of success (including numbers of delegates committed, number of votes received and number of primaries won) heading into Florida, the front runner is Mitt Romney. While Romney has not been the first choice of the majority of conservatives so far, very few Republicans consider him unacceptable as the nominee. The party could unite behind Romney, but they could never unite behind McCain. Plus recent events have boosted Romney’s prospects. Romney has long focused on economic concerns and he is the only candidate in the race with a business background. As the economy slides into a recession and/or deeper debt, Romney’s experience becomes more relevant. McCain, by contrast, has spent his whole career in public service. McCain has a genuine and profound contempt for American workers; to the extent that he has focused on economic matters at all, it has been to protect the profits of America’s largest corporations. McCain is the most unfriendly politician that the American middle class has ever seen.
Republicans and conservatives now have no choice but to throw their support to Romney. If McCain is nominated we will see conservatives disenfranchised and the Republican party torn apart, perhaps forever. That may be exactly what the New York Times has been hoping for all along.